Advancing the growth of healthy, safe relationships

The BeMore Campaign knows that Black M.E.N. C.A.N be the solution. BeMore has become the frontrunner in increasing healthy nonviolent relationships, decreasing teen dating violence, and engaging men and young men to end violence against women and girls inside of homes and in communities around the world.

The BeMore pledge goes hand in hand with three principles of change adopted by BeMore that entail skills development, leadership development and community solutions. The pledge is as follows: “I pledge to… Model the role Black men can take to break the cycle of violence against women and children. Engage other Black men and boys to develop violence-free lives. Nurture Black young men and boys to create communities free of gender violence. Challenge violent and abusive behaviors in whatever forms they take. Advance behaviors and beliefs that promote healthy and safe relationships. Never engage in dating violence.”

This internationally known campaign was developed by Sam Simmons, SAFE families manager at Family Partnership, as a culturally competent model to facilitate African American men speaking with African American young men. Simmons notes that “the pledge is meant to put a positive public face on men dealing with domestic violence and help them consciously engage in the solution, consciously think about it.”

The pledge is memorized by every employee and all members within the BeMore Campaign. The purpose is to consistently remind each staff member and every person involved with BeMore to display those qualities that show M.E.N. C.A.N.

By saying the pledge every day, we can feel and see the change in our members, their homes, and their communities. This pledge drives BeMore to not stop this campaign until every Black man has knowledge of these six values and they are being passed down from generation to generation. Come to our office and pick up a form, or go to our website and print out our form, and make the pledge. Show everyone in the world that Black M.E.N. C.A.N. be the solution.

In this article we will examine more closely the Advance portion of the pledge: “I pledge to Advance behaviors and beliefs that promote healthy and safe relationships.”

What is your POA, your plan of advancement? When achieving a goal a person usually implements a plan before taking the necessary steps to achieve that goal. Relationships should be the same way.

Everyone’s goal is to have healthy and safe relationships. It can be hard to admit the seriousness of a relationship problem, but it’s always better to be prepared should abuse arise or worsen. With a POA, the advancement of your behaviors can be set to promote a healthier and safer outcome for all parties involved.

For example, taking three deep breaths and counting to 10 could be a perfect POA when involved in a heated argument. It gives the individual time to think about the situation as a whole so both parties can leave the discussion safely.

You might be still wondering how you can personally advance the promotion of healthier relationships within your community through your everyday behaviors and beliefs if you already have a POA. Break The Cycle, a national nonprofit organization providing comprehensive dating abuse programs exclusively to young people ages 12 to 24, has come up with a few tips on positive behaviors that a person can incorporate into their everyday life to promote healthy relationships:

  1. Educate yourself on dating violence. Do you know the warning signs of dating violence? Do you know how to help a family member or friend in an abusive relationship?
  2. Be a good role model for your kids. Talk to your teen about healthy and unhealthy relationship behaviors. Use TV shows, movies, and other media to discuss topics on healthy relationships.
  3. Use social media to spread the word. Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, Facebook, Pinterest and more are all powerful tools to help promote healthy relationships. Be an activist online by asking questions, creating your own inspirational posts, and posting relevant new stories and images.
  4. Talk to your school board. Schools are a great place to educate young people about healthy relationships. Set up a phone call, write a letter, or go to a local school board meeting to speak with educators about setting clear policies on their campuses that promote healthy relationships.
  5. Connect with support systems. Whether you’re in a healthy, unhealthy or abusive relationship, it is a great idea to connect with friends, family, teachers, coaches, co-workers, bosses and others who can help you get more involved in promoting healthy relationships.

The bottom line is that the more effort we put into changing and promoting healthy behaviors in general, the more we will see an increase of healthy relationships in our communities. By you having your POA and doing things each day to promote healthy relationships, the change is inevitable. So get out and Snapchat, Tweet, Like, Reblog, and join BeMore in eliminating gender violence within all communities.

Thank you for reading this article, and stay on the lookout for our next and last article on the importance of Never engaging in dating violence.

 

For more information about Break the Cycle, go to www.breakthecycle.com. For more information about the Pledge Campaign or BeMore, contact Willie Roller III, BeMore mentor project coordinator, at 612-728-2056 or WRoller@thefamilypartnership.org.

This project was supported by Grant No. 2013-CY-AX-K023 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this program are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.